When Blue Jays fans were just snuggling into their warm beds for the evening, news broke that centre fielder of the future Anthony Gose had been traded to Detroit for Devon Travis. The move comes amidst swirling talk that Toronto was sold on Dalton Pompey becoming Colby Rasmus' replacement in 2015, with Gose on the outside looking in. He no longer has to look in as he has gone the way of Rajai Davis and become another speedster with platoon splits in the Tigers outfield. The news was broken by a number of sources, but here's the Shi Davidi tweet that came out fairly early:
Devon Travis on the other hand is a 23-year-old second baseman who was drafted in the 13th round of the 2012 draft out of Florida State University. He was recently named the top Tigers prospect by Baseball America, although the Detroit system is pretty weak so this isn't exactly a groundbreaking move. The Florida native was going to be blocked by Ian Kinsler for the foreseeable future so GM Dave Dombrowski must have decided to try and cash in when Travis' value was still high. The right-handed hitting second baseman played in Double-A Erie in 2014 hitting .298/.358/.460 with 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases.
In the prospect rankings from FanGraphs last year, the Tigers seventh-rated prospect Travis was described as follows:
Travis shares some similarities to Houston’s Jose Altuve as a smaller second baseman with surprising pop for his size. Although he hit double-digit homers in 2013, the Tigers prospect will possess more gap pop in the Majors. His short swing and willingness to spray the ball around helps him hit for average. His patient approach allows him to get on-base a lot and he doesn’t strike out much. He also has good speed and is a smart base runner. Defensively, he could be above-average at second base with good range and solid actions.
Here's a video of Travis from 2013 as well as an excerpt from a post about the small second baseman from Minor League Ball last year:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ER0Z1K-qBZY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Devon Travis has, to this point in his career, destroyed minor league pitching, hitting for average and power and controlling the strike zone well. Despite a lack of natural speed, he's been successful as a stealer. He doesn't have the pure defensive tools for shortstop, but is very good at second base. He's not too old at age 22, and is about to get a chance to show off his abilities in the Arizona Fall League.
There's more to come with this story, but feel free to discuss the trade here.